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Profnet

It’s Official: ProfNet vs. HARO

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It was bound to happen at some point, and although there have been hints at some ruffled feathers before, yesterday marked another step in the HARO vs. ProfNet competition.

Not familiar with HARO, or ProfNet? Both services match up journalists with sources, allowing journalists to send queries to lists of thousands of subscribers, mostly PR people.

HARO is free for all, ProfNet is free for journalists, but costs money for PR pros. While HARO founder Peter Shankman stated in January, “I have absolutely no beef with Profnet,” that stance has quickly changed to, “Isn’t it a little foolish to predict yourselves [ProfNet] to be the ‘industry mainstay’ when you continue to charge your members for something that HARO gives them, every single day, for free?”

The above comment is part of a back and forth between Shankman and PRNewswire’s David Weiner. [ProfNet is a part of PRNewswire.] The back and forth takes place in response to a story by former Valleywag blogger Jordan Golson, titled, “A source is a source, of course, even when it’s free and turning an industry upside down,” in reincarnated tech publication, the Industry Standard.

Hyperbole can be a blogger’s best friend, and Golson certainly deploys it in his story, when stating HARO could “turn an industry upside down.”

[Image: HARO Founder Peter Shankman]

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Peter Shankman vs. Profnet?

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Stuntmeister Peter Shankman’s “If I can help a reporter out, I will…” Facebook group is moving out, taking up bigger digs on the WWW via HelpaReporter.com. Shankman wants to keep his karma-wheel rolling and Facebook caps batch emails to only 1200.

We expect Peter’s journalist source service to keep growing as he’s continually friending, speaking, lunching, and pitching his own antics.

Peter knows the publicity value of ‘drawing a fowl’–we’ll keep in touch to see if he gets another angry call from Profnet, or perhaps a cease-and-desist.

If membership grows at the current rate, Help-a-Reporter would attract more journalist queries and fill the gap if Profnet does discontinue its discounted rate for solo practitioners.

For more on Shankman’s Group, check out “Buddy Can You Spare a Source?” and “Got Clients Who Visit Hookers?“.

For more on Profnet, check out “Best Profnets of 2007” and “Profnet Asks the Hard Questions“.